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Business News/ Industry / Advertising/  Brands ride on patriotic wave by launching Independence Day special campaigns
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Brands ride on patriotic wave by launching Independence Day special campaigns

Women safety, diversity, religious harmony and the ability to self express emerged as key themes of ad campaigns
  • Liberty Shoes has taken a thought-provoking approach urging people to become better citizens
  • Apart from ads, product innovation is another way brands celebrated Independence Day. (AFP)Premium
    Apart from ads, product innovation is another way brands celebrated Independence Day. (AFP)

    NEW DELHI : India is celebrating 73rd Independence Day this year and a bunch of brands from various categories like chocolates, burgers, skincare to even tiles have released Independence Day special ads, riding on the patriotic wave in the country.

    Women safety, diversity, religious harmony and the ability to self express emerged as key themes of these campaigns. Budget hotel startup Oyo Rooms has used humour as a tool to ask pertinent question around women safety in India. In the campaign two friends, who are stranded at an Oyo hotel in a remote location, are made to feel safe as the chain subtly conveys how safety and freedom of women is crucial in the country.

    Meanwhile, Liberty Shoes has taken a more thought-provoking approach urging people to become better citizens by questioning their own biases towards certain communities and bringing a change in the society. Sugar Cosmetics has interpreted freedom in the form of the ability of self expression and living on one’s own rules. The ad is aptly called 'Just let me be'.

    Kajaria Tiles' ‘Desh ki mitti’ campaign, for instance, featuring actor Akshay Kumar is a montage of various achievements in sports, technology, fashion and space research.

    “I certainly think the campaign by Liberty Shoes does a good job of delivering the message of independence. While many brands end up creating ads which seem forced and unfit for the occasion. Kajaria Tiles ad can be run on any occasion as it lacks the idea and does not have an obvious connect with the Independence Day occasion," said Shubho Sengupta, an independent brand consultant.

    Religious harmony and diversity is what apparel and accessory brand United Colours of India did by highlighting how Hindu and Muslim communities co-exist in the country while respecting each other's beliefs. The Benetton ad shows a Delhi resident Sania Ahmad's simple yet profound act of inter-faith harmony where a bhajan ceremony is paused for azaan during the Hindu festival of Navratras.

    Sundeep Chugh, chief executive, Benetton India Pvt. Ltd, said “There are many Indians who work tirelessly to keep together the social fabric of our nation; #UnitedBy is a salute to their efforts."

    Apart from ads, product innovation is another way brands celebrated Independence Day. Mondelez Ltd owned chocolate brand Cadbury has launched a Unity Bar which is a mix of four different chocolate varieties hinting at India’s love for diversity.

    Anil Viswanathan, director – marketing (chocolates), Mondelez India, said “Cadbury has always been a progressive brand that spreads the message of goodness, whether it is through our products or brand campaigns. We are delighted to launch the limited edition Cadbury Unity Bar, narrating the tale of ‘unity in diversity’ in a very unique way. We believe that this innovation will serve as a physical manifestation of the indispensable Indian culture."

    Not just Cadbury, global burger chain McDonalds is also seen harping on the fact they serve 'Truly Indian' burgers which they claim is made from locally sourced ingredients.

    According to Naresh Gupta, strategy head and managing partner at advertising agency Bang in the Middle brands should stay away from becoming commercial around Independence Day. “It’s too big a concept for brands to use. Commercialisation of Independence is really not working. Last year there was a retail store chain that did an ad “I love Freedom, I love Free" which will seem opportunist," he added.

    Sengupta is of opinion there’s absolutely no problem with pushing the product as long as the product and messaging is authentic and in line with the occasion. “I feel the Cadbury Unity bar is a good fit for Independence Day as it makes you feel warm about India however McDonald's proposition has no Independence Day connection," he said.

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    Published: 15 Aug 2019, 11:19 AM IST
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